SARASOTA - It’s a new era at the big top! The crowds flooding through the doors are proof the circus is alive and well on the Suncoast. Sailor Circus Academy opened its 70th Anniversary show Thursday night to an excited and packed crowd.

“Well we;’ve just completed a 4.5 million dollar arena renovation project and unveiled this great jewel of a facility," said Circus Arts Conservatory official Jennifer Mitchell. The excitement was palpable as student performers took the middle of the ring to show their impressive skills flip, flying and soaring through the air.

 “The students are amazing, most of them ages 8-18. You’re going to see acrobatics, aerial artistry, all kind of different disciplines within the circus arts. I'm going to encourage all of Sarasota to come out and support these kids," said Mitchell.

Mitchell says some of the cast of local talent has been with Sailor Circus for up to nine years. The legacy of Sarasota’s circus culture has many excited see the circus getting a breath a fresh air. “I moved to Sarasota, home of the circus. I’m pretty passionate about side shows and circuses in general," said local fan Erin Smith.

The spring show will have a two week long run. With not only a renewed facility but a spirit as well, this “Greatest Little Show on Earth” is sure to show the Suncoast big things in the future.